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Posts Tagged ‘must’

Zoellick: G20 must act to stabilize food prices

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:12 am

Free markets rather than protectionist polices are the solution to volatile food prices and the G20 should take steps to prioritize the provision of food for the poor, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said.

“The answer to food price volatility is not to prosecute or block markets, but to use them better,” Zoellick wrote in an opinion piece in Thursday’s Financial Times urging G20 leaders to put access to food at the top of its agenda.

“By empowering the poor the G20 can take practical steps toward ensuring the availability of nutritious food,” he wrote.

French President Nicholas Sarkozy will take the presidency of the G20 in 2011. In his column Zoellick set out nine action points to make sure the poorest have access to food. Such steps were needed to ensure global growth and stability, he said.

Food prices hit a record high last month, outstripping levels that prompted riots in 2008 and key grains could climb even further as weather patterns give cause for concern, the UN’s food agency said on Wednesday.

Zoellick said more work was needed to understand the relationship between international prices and local prices in poor countries. In Cambodia the local price of rice has risen by a quarter since mid-2009, while international prices have shed 15 percent.

“Factors such as transport costs, crop types and exchange rates can mean that local prices are delinked from international prices,” he wrote.

“Work could target first those commodities and countries that are most at risk from volatility.”

He also called for an international code of conduct to exempt humanitarian food aid from export bans.

Export restrictions make food price volatility worse. Ideally, countries would not impose any export bans; in 2011 they should at least agree that food for humanitarian purposes be allowed to move more freely,” he wrote.

Other steps include improving supply transparency and long-weather forecasting, creating small humanitarian reserves in disaster-prone regions and providing alternatives to export bans and price fixing.

Risk management products, such as weather insurance or a hedge on energy prices to keep transport and input costs low, should also be considered, he said.

Source: SGGP

Asia must avoid ‘distortions’ in handling hot money: ADB

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2010 at 11:10 am

HANOI, Oct 30, 2010 (AFP) – Developing Asian nations must carefully manage a massive inflow of foreign capital and avoid remedies that could create destabilising “distortions”, the Asian Development Bank chief warned Saturday.

Haruhiko Kuroda told Asian leaders at a summit in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi that capital flows are one of two risks that regional economies face as they rebound from the global downturn that began in 2008.

His comments came shortly before the US Federal Reserve is expected to announce it will go into a second round of quantitative easing, injecting more money into the banking system to further stimulate the world’s biggest economy.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (R) speaks with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard ahead of a bilateral meeting at the ASEAN Summit in Hanoi on October 30, 2010. AFP

The first risk is that the recovery in the developed economies could falter, Kuroda told presidents, prime ministers and a sultan, as well as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Russian foreign minister.

“The second risk is capital flows, which could complicate macroeconomic management,” Kuroda said in a prepared speech made available to journalists.

“We must be prepared,” he told his audience, which also included Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Referring to Asian economies outpacing growth in the developed world, Kuroda said “faster growth and higher yields can draw excessive — and potentially volatile — capital flows into the region”.

“Authorities are watching asset prices and exchange rates carefully, with several beginning to use well-targeted capital controls to limit speculation,” he said.

“Care must be taken, however, not to create distortions.”

Hammered by the financial turmoil that began in 2008, the United States, Japan and Europe are moving to weaken or cap their currencies in a bid to make their exports more competitive in the global market.

They have also injected more money into their banking systems to stimulate growth, with the Fed expected to announced a second round of quantitative easing when it meets from Tuesday to Wednesday.

But because growth in the developed world is anaemic and unemployment high, a large chunk of the money is heading to emerging markets, including in Asia, where it stands to gain better yields.

According to the Washington-based Institute of International Finance (IIF), net private capital flows to emerging economies are projected to reach 825 billion dollars this year, or more than two billion dollars a day, up from 581 billion dollars in 2009.

The massive inflow has nudged most Asian currencies higher, making their exports more expensive on the global market as the US allows the dollar to weaken and China keeps a tight rein on the yuan.

The influx has also led to steep gains in stocks and property prices, which have stoked fears of “bubbles” which could later burst if the money is withdrawn quickly, and prompted individual central banks to act to cool down their markets.

Philippine Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, who is attending the Hanoi meetings, called for cooperation among developing states to fight the impact of the currency tensions.

“Our concerns as small countries is when the pendulum swings the other way around. What would happen to us — and really this is something that we need to address as a group and not as a single country,” he told reporters on Friday.

The IIF in a research note released in October urged policymakers to be careful about the international and domestic impact of the actions they take on their currencies.

A disorderly adjustment can cause “renewed strains in global financial markets and, possibly, igniting policy tensions and, possibly, protectionist measures between key economies,” it warned.

Source: SGGP

World must unite against hunger: Rwandan president

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2010 at 10:25 am

ROME, Oct 15, 2010 (AFP) – Rwandan President Paul Kagame called on Friday for governments to redouble their political will and determination to collectively deliver on their commitments to halve world hunger by 2015.

“With prosperity all around us and significant advances in technology and modern science, we cannot accept the numbers dying in the world for hunger,” Kagame said at a conference in Rome on the eve of World Food Day.

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame delivers a speech during the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) celebrations of the World Food Day on October 15, 2010 at the FAO headquarters in Rome. AFP

“It begs the question, what is the missing link? We know hunger kills and deprives people of their dignity, so why are we not doing more to combat it?” Kagame said at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) meeting.

Kagame said there had been “misguided presumptions” that the private sector would take responsibility for tackling the problem of the world’s starving.

He called for governments to focus on food security but warned officials not to bypass small farmers “who must be involved in finding solutions.”

Small farmers and their families represent some 2.5 billion people, more than one-third of the global population.

Kagame has invested heavily in his agricultural infrastructure.

Rwanda has received 50 million dollars (35 million euros) from a multi-donor fund administered by the World Bank to boost agriculture sectors in Africa.

Source: SGGP

Teachers must be trained living skills

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 7:59 am

It is the first year that the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) decided schools have to operate classes to teach living skills preparation program for the academic year 2010-2011; however, it requires teachers to be trained with educational methodologies and certain knowledge.

Each groups of teachers at a training class  provided by MOET to discuss methodologies and situations of teaching living skills  (Photo: SGGP)

Most schools lack professional teachers to take charge in such classes, so head teachers are assigned to do the job. There hasn’t in fact been a training course for teachers of these classes, especially young teachers.

Teachers in charge of such classes need to be trained to teach living skills, MOET has therefore launched a training course for over 700 teachers from 23 southern provinces in the beginning of the year. Some teachers said it is easy that schools offer extracurricular classes but MOET should verify the role of teachers and effective teaching methodologies.

Headmistress of Tran Khai Nguyen high-school, Nguyen Thi Yen Trinh, said MOET and the Department of Education and Training have just ordered schools t teach life skills among the students, but they didn’t give detailed plan. According to Ms. Trinh, young instructors themselves lack living skills; they are thus confused to bring living skills to the classroom and deal with complicated situation.

Managing board of Tran Khai Nguyen high-school has just invited several experts to provide teaching methodology training to head teachers.

After the course, literature teacher Dinh Thi My Hanh said through the course, teachers could design a lesson in which provide life skills to pupils. Meanwhile, teacher Bui Thi Ngoc Thoan, head teacher of class 11A2 said the training made teachers confident to offer extracurricular classes even in one hour through some forms like dramas, poetry or songs. During the classes, the students were taught to combine presentation and teamwork in different topics.

MOET has issued five documents to teach living skills through teaching subjects literature, biology, geography, lessons for citizenship education or outside lessons. However, students felt bored to receive life skills through main subjects but they showed their enthusiasm to learn living skills under other forms. Tran Khai Nguyen high-school’s 10 grader Dong Thuc said he learned how to resolve contradiction through discussion with friends after watching a drama in class.

Another problem has risen when implementing living skill teaching plan, which is financial problem. According to Tran Khac Huy from the Department of Education and Training, private owned institutes are eager to hold training courses to teachers and students meanwhile public schools are not due to financial difficulties.

Moreover, state-run facilities neglected to provide living skill class but focus on raising graduate number for maintaining its achievements.

Psychologist Vo Van Nam said teachers play an important role in training ethic and behavior of students, especially living skills.

Violence escalated among students and even among teachers who had insulting words to learners. Teachers also lack of living skills.

Mr. Nam said living skills can gradually develop through learning, apprehending and experiencing life. Accordingly schools and the education sector should work out  long-term plans to each instructors.

Source: SGGP

US must support flagging housing market: Geithner

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2010 at 7:24 am

Timothy Geithner

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Tuesday that the government must bolster the embattled American housing sector to avoid more damaging recessions in the future.

“Without such support, the risk is that future recessions could be more severe because the financial system would not have the capital to support mortgage lending on an adequate scale,” he said.

“House price declines could be more acute, with even greater damage to financial wealth and economic security,” Geithner said at a conference in Washington on the future of housing finance in the United States.

A key issue is how to reform troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were taken over by the federal government at the height of the financial crisis in 2008 as their loan losses mounted.

Their portfolios of mortgage-backed securities snowballed to more than 1.6 trillion dollars at their peak without the financial resources to cover potential losses.

Since the takeover, the government has injected more than 140 billion dollars into the two companies, which own or guarantee more than half the 11 trillion dollar US residential debt market.

Geithner said fixing the damaged US housing finance system was “one of the most consequential and complicated economic policy problems we face as a country.”

He made it clear that the government “will not support” returning Fannie and Freddie to their previous role in which they fought to take market share from private competitors while enjoying the privilege of government support.

The Obama administration has vowed to deliver to lawmakers a comprehensive housing finance reform proposal by January 2011, beyond November elections.

Obama and his Democratic allies have already come under fierce attack from Republicans for not including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a sweeping financial overall that was signed into law recently.

Reforming Fannie and Freddie is political charged as the housing sector struggles to emerge from the mortgage crisis that plunged the economy into a recession in 2007.

The two firms have underpinned the US housing market for 40 years, and — supporters argue — have made housing affordable for millions of poorer Americans.

Critics say they represent unwarranted government interference in the housing market.

Geithner recalled that the financial crisis saw a “full retreat” by private financial institutions from many forms of mortgage and consumer lending.

This “provides a compelling illustration of why private markets, left to their own devices, find it hard to resolve financial crises,” he said.

Geithner said the government’s role in providing stability to the housing finance system, both in times of prosperity and during downturns, was key to economic stability.

“This question is really about whether the government — in order to make sure that Americans can borrow at reasonable interest rates to buy a house even in a downturn — has to provide a form of guarantee or insurance against losses,” he said.

Some governments make insurance or guarantees explicit while many leave them implicit or hidden, Geithner said, adding that the jury was still out on what the extent of US government involvement should be.

“It’s safe to say there’s no clear consensus yet on how best to design a new system,” he said.

Source: SGGP

Vietnam must maintain alerts to H1N1 virus: health official

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Vietnam must still maintain its alert for H1N1 influenza virus, which caused the 2009 pandemic in the world, said a health official on August 16.

Deputy head of the Department of Preventive Health Nguyen Van Binh warned the national Health Ministry must keep an eye on the disease as outbreaks of H1N1 infection have recently re-occurred in Ho Chi Minh City.

Mr. Binh said although the World Health Organization declared an end to the H1N1 influenza pandemic and the world is no longer in phase 6 of the pandemic alert. However, WHO stressed continueous vigilance is extremely important and the localized outbreaks of different magnitude may show significant levels of H1N1 transmission.

In Vietnam, since the middle of July, some southern provinces have recorded some H1N1 cases; local governments have raised concerns over the returning of the disease in order to curb the wide spreading of the epidemic in the community.

Vietnam has reported 11,215 infected cases with 59 fatalities since May, 2009.

Source: SGGP

Students must study English from third grade on

In Uncategorized on August 2, 2010 at 7:18 am

The Ministry of Education and Training has recently drafted a new proposal that would include teaching English at the primary school level, as part of the Strategy for Education Development for 2008-2020, which aims to build a modern educational system.

Pupils of Phan Dinh Phung Primary School study English in their class (Photo: SGGP)

According to the draft, primary school students would have to learn English starting in third grade and completing a total of 1,155 hours by the end of primary school.

According to the draft, after completing the program, students will be tell short stories in English, write five-sentence paragraphs, read and comprehend short English lessons and conduct brief conversations in English.

Students graduating from primary school will possess English capabilities equivalent to the Level 1 English proficiency as determined by the European Association for Language Testing and Assessment (EALTA).

Source: SGGP

Schools must emphasize family values, foreign languages: Deputy PM

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2010 at 7:18 am

The educational sector should more focus on educating students in civic morality, including family values, and schools should Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan said.

9th graders at Pham Dinh Ho Secondary High School of District 6 taking in a mathematics lesson. (Photo: SGGP)

He made the instruction at a national conference themed “Stepping up educational management and improving educational quality,” held July 29 to review the 2009-2010 academic year for pre-schools, high schools and vocational schools.

Mr. Nhan asked the sector to take steps to enhance the educational quality to increase the number of high achieving students.

Schools should create learning environments that are more effective and friendly so that students can study better.

To this end, norms of knowledge and skills must be revamped and advanced teaching methods must be applied.

High schools should include family values in their curriculum to help students improve their awareness and thereby develop their sense of responsibility, respect and love for their families.

Students in general should be equipped with knowledge and skills necessary for international integration. For this purpose, schools should pay more attention to teaching foreign languages and computer science to their students.

In the 2010-2011 school year, the education sector will, for the first time, apply a new foreign language teaching program for students of grade 3 upward, Mr. Nhan said, adding that the move is the first step of a 10-year program to improve the teaching of foreign languages in schools nationwide.

Therefore, big cities and provinces should take the initiative in implementing this program, he said.

Source: SGGP

Dengue fever hotline for must run around clock: MOH

In Uncategorized on June 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm

The Ministry of Health June 27 ordered its subdivisions to maintain a hotline concerning dengue fever, to combat the disease that is on an upward trend.

A health worker is examining dengue fever children at Children Hospital No. 2 (photo: SGGP)

Municipal and provincial departments of health were asked to keep in touch with hospitals the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, the National hospital for Children, Hue Hospital, the Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, and two hospitals No. 1 and 2 for children, also in HCMC.

MOH warned that the disease is plaguing southern provinces, while more people in the central and highlands provinces are contracting dengue fever as well.

Figures showed that the number of infected people in the central and highlands is over 4,000, a rate that doubles numbers from the same period in 2009. Affected provinces include Khanh Hoa, Thua Thien-Hue, Phu Yen, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Da nang, Kon Tum and Gia Lai.

Moreover, Hanoi recorded over 300 people infected with the ailment; July is considered the peak season for the disease.

Antibiotic resistance due to severe abuse has reached alarming rate in Vietnam, according to a recent survey conducted by the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit and the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases.

A survey, conducted at pharmacies and hospitals in Hanoi over a one-month period found that cases in which children are prescribed antibiotics unnecessarily are rampant.

Uncontrolled use and abuse of antibiotics has caused a severe resistance to the medicines in Vietnam. The survey also reported that over 60 percent of people are resistant to medication that treats pneumonia.

Source: SGGP

Abbas tells US envoy blockade must be lifted

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 12:22 pm

 Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Friday told US envoy George Mitchell that Washington must press Israel to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip.

A handout picture released by the Palestinian Press Office shows US Middle East envoy George Mitchell (C) beeing greeted by Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 18, 2010. (AFP Photo)

“President Abbas insisted during the meeting on the need for a continuation of US efforts to achieve the complete end of the Gaza blockade,” his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP following talks in Ramallah, the political capital of the occupied West Bank.

He stressed that lifting the blockade would favour a restart of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians that were halted when Israel launched a devastating 22-day offensive in Gaza in December 2008.

Mitchell has brokered indirect talks and has been acting as a go-between since they started in May.

Abbas condemned the blockade as “collective punishment” against Gaza’s 1.5 million residents and dismissed as “insufficient” an easing of the measures announced by Israel earlier this week, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said.

Mitchell met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday and was due in Egypt on Saturday for talks with its leaders.


Source: SGGP